Bricks of the World
The Round the World Brick Trip
We've tripped over all of these at some time, some where....
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The bricks my friends and I have tripped over in other countries of the World...

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European Bricks and Tiles

France and Belgium

Roofing tiles mainly from Pontypridd Lido restoration and one found in New Zealand


Other than the Portuguese bricks below, these British bricks also turned up on Gibraltar


Some bricks found in Gibraltar with a roller-type imprint from the 'Faceal', Fabrica de Ceramica do Algarve brickworks in Paderne, Portugal.


A part of a roof tile made at the Racica brickworks at Tivat, Montenegro


I went to Egypt just before I got interested in bricks but I did get a few photos of this old brickworks in Luxor. I seem to remember quite a few old brickworks along the banks of the Nile.

New Zealand

Quick links to :-     A to Z of NZ bricks     Enoch Tonks, Wellington     Palmerston North     Mt Cook prison

New Zealand had a thriving brick industry until they realised that bricks are not an ideal building material in a very earthquake-prone country. There are a great many left to find but information on them is not easy to come by. The amazing Tawhiti Museum, in Hawera, South Taranaki, has a small brick kiln incorporating a lot of New Zealand bricks. It was difficult to photograph which accounts for the fuzziness of some photos where they have been trimmed from some overall scenes.

The A to Z of New Zealand bricks

Mount Cook Brickworks, Wellington

The boundary wall of Tasman Street, Wellington, is made from bricks produced in the adjacent Mt Cook Brickworks, now the site of the university. They were made by prison labour, marched in irons through the streets of Wellington, to carry out their 'Hard Labour'. The brickworks worked from c1890 to the 1920s, the last job for the prisoners was to demolish it ! The bricks are marked with the prison 'arrow' symbol pointing in any direction. There are also paw and handprints on some bricks.

Palmerston North - 'Brick and Pipes Ltd'

This brickworks was opened c1902 by Robert Price Edwards, later joining 'W Mouldey' and 'Trevor Bros' to become the 'Brick and Pipes Ltd'. The Hoffmann kiln was built c1918 and in use until 1959, brick and tile production on the site ceasing finally in 1977. The clay pits beside the works are now a community asset, the Edwards Pit Park.

Enoch Tonks, Wellington

Enoch Tonks was a prolific manufacturer in Wellington and was firmly established by 1847. The company moved to a site off Webb Street and Cuba Street in 1868 and closed nearly 60 years later in 1924. The information board and Tonks Well are on Karo Drive (SH1).

Japan (or Australia)

Japan doesn't seem to have had a brick industry. There's very few about and all I saw were unmarked. However I did find one Australian brick at a station near Yatsushima, Kyushu.

Bricks and brickworks from the Indian Sub-continent

I went to India to visit the Hill Railways but I wan't expecting to come across dozens and dozens of small brickworks, generally making bricks by hand. All but one of my photos are from Northern India, between Amritsar and Darjeeling. In Southern India I was only able to get a photo of one example though there we passed many more. Unusually they all seemed to have their imprint on the end of the brick.

Bricks, mostly found in India

The imprints on Indian bricks appear to be codes rather than names of brickworks in most cases. As I've come across other bricks from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal I've included them here for the record. Some brick imprints end in 'BF' which appears to represent a 'Building Fund' for temples or other public and community buildings.

Selling second-hand brick moulds seems to be a lucrative business in India and the imprints I've seen include :-
'ABCD', 'ABF', 'A&R', 'AU', 'AVADH', 'AVN', 'B.B', 'BVBV', 'CKP', 'DBF', 'GBF', 'JJ', 'JMV', 'KBF', 'KHAN', 'KING', 'LOHA', 'MBF', 'MBI', 'MDS', 'NBF', 'NHS', 'OM', 'O#M', 'PAL'. 'RAJA 31', 'RAMA', 'RJV', 'RLV', 'RXB', 'SONA', 'SRS', 'UA', 'UTI', 'VSHV', 'ZBF', '777'

Bricks - A to Z

Bricks - Hindi, Sanskrit etc

Some of these bricks appear to show the word दीदी , 'didi', which can be taken to mean 'firmness' or 'stabilty', literally 'elder sister' i.e. a respected family lady.

The brickworks of India

It is estimated that India has more than 100,000 brick kilns producing about 250 billion bricks annually, employing about 15 million workers and consuming about 35 million tons of coal annually. In Northern India (and probably elsewhere) there are dozens and dozens of small brickworks generally making bricks apparently by hand. I would love to have had the opportunity to stop and look closer.

Brickworks between Amritsar and Chandigarh

Brickworks between Agra and Delhi

Brickworks between Dehli and Siliguri

Brickworks between Chennai and Coimbatore

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

The 'Old Bricks' website is the best source of info on bricks and brickworks in the UK :- Old Bricks - history at your feet

For very good coverage of Scottish bricks and quite a bit about other places too :-

Martyn Feltwell has two very good sites here :- East Midlands Named Bricks and UK Named Bricks

There is a specialist society for brick history :- British Brick Society

There's also a 'Facebook' group for bricks and brickworks :- UK Bricks and Brickworks Past

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